National Basketball Association
Preview
Milwaukee at Brooklyn
When: 6:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 18, 2020
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn Nets haven't exactly taken off since All-Star guard Kyrie Irving returned from a 26-game absence, and he is already pointing out things that need to change. Irving and the Nets will try to avoid a three-game slide when they host the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

Irving managed 14 points on 6-of-21 shooting in a 117-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday before talking about all the help he needs. "I mean, it's transparent," Irving told reporters. "It's out there. It's glaring, in terms of the pieces that we need in order to be at that next level. I'm going to continue to reiterate it. We're going to do the best with the guys that we have in our locker room now, and we'll worry about all the other stuff, in terms of moving pieces and everything else, as an organization down the line in the summer." The Milwaukee Bucks seem to have all the pieces they need to make a run at an NBA title and a 70-win regular season and pushed their latest winning streak to five in a row with a 128-123 triumph over Boston on Thursday but were unhappy with allowing a 27-point lead to slip away. "We were up 20 twice, they came back," Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters. "We were up 20 the first game. They came back. We didn't play the best basketball and how we usually play. I was kind of upset after the game and talking in the locker room, talking to one another, we were like, 'Guys, we were up 20. We won, but this is not going to go in the playoffs. We've gotta play for 48 minutes.'"

TIME: 6 p.m. ET. TV: NBA TV, FS Wisconsin, YES, TSN1

ABOUT THE BUCKS (37-6): Antetokounmpo recorded 32 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists on Thursday while swingman Khris Middleton added 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Middleton is shooting 66.7 percent from the floor over the last four games and is drawing glowing reviews from teammates for his leadership abilities. "I think Giannis’ greatness can overshadow a lot of things sometimes and that's fine, we're all totally fine with that, but Khris is a great basketball player," veteran guard Kyle Korver told reporters, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He doesn't have a weakness to his game. I've been surprised being on his team now seeing how good of a passer he is and seeing how well he reads the game. He can do a lot with the ball in his hands and I think it's good when Giannis is out of the game and we try to go to him a lot and try to have him facilitate. He's been doing that all year."

ABOUT THE NETS (18-22): Brooklyn went 13-13 with Irving out and is 1-2 since his return, with losses against Utah and at Philadelphia in the last two contests. Irving signed with Brooklyn over the summer as a free agent along with Kevin Durant, who is out for the season recovering from Achilles surgery, and wants to see the team continue to add. "Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces, but it's pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that will complement myself, (Durant), (center DeAndre Jordan), (guard Garrett Temple), (guard Spencer Dinwiddie), (guard Caris LeVert), and we'll see how that evolves," Irving, who was a team-worst minus-29 on Wednesday, told reporters after the loss.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Nets C Jarrett Allen collected 17 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday for his third double-double in the last four games.

2. Bucks G Donte DiVincenzo is averaging 14 points on 21-of-40 shooting over the last four contests.

3. Milwaukee took three of the four meetings last season and eight of the last 10 in the series.

PREDICTION: Bucks 128, Nets 107
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Milwaukee 37-6 W5 20-2 17-4 0-2 37-4 10-0 22-3
Brooklyn 18-22 L2 11-9 7-13 3-2 15-20 4-5 12-11
Last Meeting
Milwaukee Brooklyn
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/6/19 BK 133 MIL 128 128 43 55.7 133 43 49.5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Milwaukee E. Bledsoe 33 70.6 4
Brooklyn D. Russell 25 66.7 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Milwaukee P. Connaughton 8 1 7
Brooklyn J. Allen 7 2 5
Assists Player  
Milwaukee E. Bledsoe 11
Brooklyn D. Russell 10
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Milwaukee G. Antetokounmpo 1284 55.6 274
Brooklyn S. Dinwiddie 920 41.8 231
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Milwaukee G. Antetokounmpo 550 99 451
Brooklyn J. Allen 405 131 274
Assists Player  
Milwaukee G. Antetokounmpo 231
Brooklyn S. Dinwiddie 273
Quickchart Matchup
Milwaukee Milwaukee Off vs  Brooklyn Brooklyn Defense
Milwaukee Off vs Brooklyn - Points For 119.6 Points For
Milwaukee Off vs Brooklyn - Points Against 111.3 Points Against
Milwaukee - FG% 47.9 FG%
Brooklyn - FG% 43.6 FG%
Milwaukee - Reb 51.7 Reb
Brooklyn - Reb 46.8 Reb
Brooklyn Brooklyn Off vs  Milwaukee Milwaukee Defense
Brooklyn Off vs Milwaukee - Points For 109.5 Points For
Brooklyn Off vs Milwaukee - Points Against 107.2 Points Against
Brooklyn - FG% 44.2 FG%
Milwaukee - FG% 41.2 FG%
Brooklyn - Reb 48.6 Reb
Milwaukee - Reb 46.2 Reb